My sister Kay Larson suddenly got ill on a leaf trip with myself and a friend. We raced to a rural Wisconsin ER, were there for 4 hours. They said it was possibly a bowel obstruction and transferred her by ambulance to Regions in St. Paul at 330 am Sunday, Oct. 4.
On Sunday evening, two measurements were still increasing so they worried about a perforation happening so performed surgery to remove "patchy necrosis" in the large colon. I think they removed the ascending large colon...
That surgery went well and the measures came down. When I saw her Monday morning, she was so much better but not out of the weeds yet.
She had the second surgery to reconnect upper and lower this afternoon, Tuesday, Oct. 6. That went well too. They are still unsure what caused the colitis or inflammation of the large colon - TBD soon, I'm sure.
I would like more than anything to give answers but unfortunately, like everything in life, there is only grey.
Now that they've been in there, observation, more data and additional tests will start to provide clues. Even in medicine, which is both high art and science. Not everyone presents the same, for example, she had no fever despite WBCs in the 20Ks and lactate 7x normal -- both blood tests indicative of infection, sepsis and other malfeasance going on. She had some mild gastro symptoms that came and went over the past couple weeks that she put off to stress.
There was clearly loss of blood to spots of the colon resulting in necrosis, although the large arteries were working well, supplying blood to colon. Some possibilities that were mentioned included arteriosclerosis of small blood vessels, autoimmune like Crohn's or Ulcerative colitis, bacteria, C Diff, scar tissue from previous surgeries, tumor, cancer etc. I'll revise this with concrete information as we go. She's expected to be in Regions for a least a week.
Like many Americans, her insurance (not yet old enough for Medicare) isn't the greatest and the Wis hospital was out of network. Not to mention what the two surgeries will cost and the stay. She is retired on a fixed income. I need to talk with the biz office to get an estimate of out of pocket or the max out of pocket will be -- so may adjust the goal. Relieving the immediate financial stress on her in the coming weeks of recovery and paying some medical bills is my hope. I asked Google how much she might expect and found this link, so I'm not just pulling a figure of out my ass (sorry could not resist):
Her birthday is Halloween and I know she rakes in the treats and gifts from friends and family every year. Consider forgoing bday gifts for medical expenses gift. Thank you.
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